How to Play ‘I’ll Fly Away’ on the Banjo

In this video from Jim Pankey, we show you how to play the song ‘I’ll Fly Away’ on the banjo. Originally written in 1929 by Albert E. Brumley and published in 1932, it has become the world’s most recorded gospel song. Artists that have recorded the song include Bob Marley, Kanye West and Alan Jackson.

You can download the banjo tabs for “I’ll Fly Away’ here, or check out our entire Banjo Tabs resource.

Video Text:

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[Music] [Music] hey y’all Jim Pankey here wanted to revisit this one had several requests for it and I had stuck a video out there years ago on I’ll fly away and so I wanted to kind of redo this one and this is not an invitation for me to go back and redo everything because a lot of these tunes that are out here you know if you’ve been through my 10 lesson

0:01:00.6 –>
series you should be able to slow them down using the old little button you know wherever the gear is or the three dots and find the playback speed and you should be able to slow some of these down figure them out but this one I really wanted to do it it gets a lot of requests so thought I would tackle this one again and it’s going to be a little more of the chain I I’ve got the verse and the chorus this time and it’ll be a little more of an intermediate kind of tune if you’ve been through my beginner series and then done my post a link to my learn these next playlist and keep down those and this would be a good this would be a good one right here because it’s gonna use stuff that you know and I’ll show you a couple little new new ideas as well so let’s just jump into this thing heyyo before we go any further please hit the subscribe button if you haven’t

0:02:00.8 –>
already done that channels like mine we survived on subscriptions and likes and comments feel free to to do that it’s free won’t cost you anything and to make you feel good might even bring you good luck so like next time you’re out mow your yard maybe you won’t hit a big rock and all your mower blade you’ll think about that if you don’t hit that subscribe button ya know alright now on to the lesson we’ve got to pick up notes you got four and then slide three and then we got a forwarding reverse roll we’re going to do with a slide but on on the way back around we’re gonna slide on up to the fifth fret so it’s gonna sound like

0:03:01.6 –>
[Music] moved on up to the fifth fret we need that melody note so we need that note and using the forward in reverse roll that’s a handy way to get that then we need a slide d7 or you can do it just without the index fan it sounds a little different but sometimes I do it that way sometimes I do it with my finger up it’s totally up to you and then get a C chord forward and reverse and this is a where it’s going [Music] and then hammer and then 4 all right so

0:04:02.1 –>
let’s go that far [Music] and then a tag so that’s a four and then pinch and you’re gonna have that finger down and then one two three one with a pull off from three to two on the three so let’s go that far one more time [Music]

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for free so it starts again and this time we can do this part a little different it’s a weepy but we’re gonna change it just a little bit just for from variation so we’re gonna do a slide with the alternating roll and then the pull off 30 so that sounds like and then two slides so now we need a D lick so it’s pouring so we’re gonna hold a partial D courts of indexes on the 3rd string 2nd fret ring finger fourth

0:06:00. –>
string fourth fret don’t think I know my numbers and fret by now but I still get tangled up when I’m telling you all right so it’s 3 3 and then our tag so all of that together [Music]

0:07:02.2 –>
and I will include a tab because there there’s some little variations that I’m catching myself too but the the concept and the idea you can get through this use a slowdown feature refer to the tab refer to your ears listen listen listen and try to create your version of this like I said this is a little more intermediate so I’ve allowed myself a little liberty with it so let’s look at the chorus now the chorus is going to start out with like out of our Foggy Mountain breakdown so watch that video if you haven’t done Foggy Mountain breakdown yet you need to go look at that because we’ll use this technique but we also use this pattern in in our 10 lesson beginner series and it’s that double forward roll the two one two one five two one five pattern and we’re going to use that for our chorus it

0:08:00.5 –>
starts with a with a walk-up so that’s just first and second strings fingers and then you’re going to fret the first fret second fret and you’re pinching one and two and now we’re just going to do the double fold with that hammer just like we do in Foggy Mountain breakdown and boil em cabbage down that sounds like [Music] and now we’re going we’re going to play the melody there’s never a time where it’s not okay to just play the melody you can just play the melody here we’re gonna we’re going to just play the melody in the song it goes

0:09:04.1 –>
[Applause] we’re gonna hammer that and pinch we’re gonna hit one and two open and then we’re going to play the our d7 chord and what I do is I actually reach up with my index and middle and play or you could do it with your thumb use your thumb or you could do it like I do and do it with the fingers clear yeah all right and now get a C chord forward in Reverse and then the fine and then our tag lick [Music]

0:10:04.2 –>
and so you’re gonna hit the first ring and then the fourth string and the fourth is fretted here and that leads us to something new and what we’re going to do is this is going to be a forward roll based idea and there’s not going to be a fifth string involved with this and it’s gonna be the same pattern but we’ll do it on a couple of different strings so so the pattern you’re gonna do is and when we do that we’re gonna so it’s open second fret when you do that be sure I

0:11:02. –>
really don’t like to give examples of what not to do but in this case I’m going to don’t let yourself get into the habit of going don’t don’t do that try to keep all of those notes as smooth as possible so oh that’s that’s for three see how that all kind of runs together it’s not just three three two so be really careful with this so that’s the first part [Music] that’s the second part and it’s on the third string so goes through so we’ll start open second for it Ferb free that whole sequence sounds

0:12:03.2 –>
life got it practice that a bunch it’s a little different than anything we’ve done so far and this is why I wanted to do this version of a flower wait because it’s going to give you some new ideas and new techniques all right now we need a swap then do that same thing again slide now a deal a free [Music] and we’re holding the index on the 3rd string 2nd fret ring finger fourth string fourth fret and we’re going to do

0:13:05.2 –>
a tag but I want to do it differently this time just for variation and it makes it sound like we know more than one tag lick and really it’s the same lick we’re just gonna change one little piece of it so we could go what we could do so I’m doing three we’re gonna pinch we’re gonna slide from four to five on the first string really quick and then one to five with the pull off alright so let’s do that whole chorus really slowly [Music]

0:14:17.6 –>
and there I did the tag here so from the walk up alright folks hey thanks for watching be sure to check out the other videos have fun with it there will be a tab of this posted so be sure to check in the description for the tab check out the other videos bye

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